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I've had the hardest time trying to sell these walnut logs...6/1
I'm not a professional logger, just a farmer from southern IL and I was wondering if anyone else on here has had such an ordeal as this, I cut these logs back in November and I should've left them alone cause dealing with sawmills in my area has been a major headache, you'd think over 3,000 bf of walnut would be fairly easy to sell but as of now that hasn't been the case. A couple sawmills made a reasonable offer and I accepted and then they backed out and seems like the rest either don't make an offer or just plain want to steal them (like 25¢ a foot). It sure has been a headache. How long do y'all think I've got until these logs get bad? Any one have any ideas on what I should do?
You may be stuck in the "more trouble than its worth" (for them) world which is likely why the no action/lowballs. I can only speak to our area but, while $250/MBF does sound a bit low, most land owners around here are often stuck in the mindset that their timber is worth a fortune or are remembering times and stories when people made huge scores off of a rare tree or two.
We have a small mill and kiln and its almost a weekly occurrence that people call or come into the shop and have a couple trees, or a truck load of air dried lumber thats been in the top of their barn forever and when we pull out the Market Bulletin and show them the numbers they think we are trying to rob them blind.
In our area Walnut is around 325/MBF on the stump but you often wont get that full number. Its an average. Youve cut and skid it so that should be a little more. But the mill still has to have a contract hauler come in and load/haul it off and sell it. I'd guess thats where your $250/MBF low balls are coming from.
Best thing I could think of would be to find a contract hauler or local logger who would load them up and run them in for you with one of their loads for a percentage. Sadly you may still wind up with a much lower than expected ROI.
Having a custom sawyer come in and break it all down into boards and selling it off would likely be way more of a headache.
I'm curious why you did the logging without a buyer? I'd say the sapwood is already full of bugs, and you are getting some pretty heavy checking on the ends. Better go for any buyers real soon! I have sawn walnut logs when the sapwood has rotted enough that you could pull it off with your hands. But no mill wants it that way.
I move a lot of walnut out here in California.